Since becoming practice head two years ago, how have you shaped the practice?
Over the last two or so years I have built on the collegiate and high performing culture cultivated by my predecessor. This was particularly important during a period of transition and ambitious new growth.
I’ve intentionally shaped the practice around the diverse skills and experience of the team, including the strong industrial relations background of one of our senior lawyers. It’s a busy practice, and an exciting time to be leading an excellent team.
You are currently completing a Masters of Law specialising in employment and labour law. How has this extended your skill set as a lawyer?
My Masters study has given me the opportunity to take time out and think deeply about complex areas of law. Studying whilst running a busy practice can have its challenges, but it's a key priority for me as I recognise the flow-on benefit it has to the way I advise my clients.
I also use the opportunity to connect with academics, counsel, other lawyers and HR / IR professionals. Learning with people across industries, and hearing their perspectives, has pushed me to continually adapt and take creative and fresh approaches to my work.
“Learning with people across industries, and hearing their perspectives, has pushed me to continually adapt and take creative and fresh approaches to my work.”
High profile cases of poor workplace behaviour have placed additional pressure on employers. How does this play out in your practice?
Media attention on workplace issues is not new. But what has changed is community expectations, and the need for employers to be proactive (and transparent) in relation to their responses.
Part of my role is to anticipate and challenge assumptions on workplace matters. I work closely with my clients to assess the issues under the spotlight but also, perhaps more importantly, to contextualise those issues more broadly and consider the other concerns which often accompany high profile claims.
I offer an individual (and bespoke) perspective on these matters which helps my clients untangle complex matters in the workplace.
How would you describe what good leadership involves at ABL?
To me, leadership is about leading by example, sharing success and being accountable. I'm tremendously grateful to senior mentors within the firm who have worked closely with me over the last few years in particular. Their guidance, expertise and diverse practising styles has demonstrated the many different successful forms of leadership within ABL.
In leading the Workplace Advisory team, I am conscious of matching the skills, style and experience of my team to each matter that comes into the practice. I've learnt that this works to empower and motivate my team to achieve their own excellent results and career ambitions, and also means that my clients benefit from advice tailored to their specific needs, style and business.